By Greg Mulemi/talkSport
Israel Folau will have his Rugby Australia contract terminated following his homophobic social media post.
The 30-year-old came under fire for reiterating his controversial views about ‘drunks, homosexuals and adulterers’ in an Instagram post earlier this week.
Rugby Australia said in a statement it intends to terminate his contract and Folau has failed to respond to repeated attempts to contact him.
The statement read: “As a code we have made it clear to Israel formally and repeatedly that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action. In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.
Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union have made repeated attempts to contact Israel both directly and via his representatives since 6.30pm on Wednesday, and at this point he has failed to communicate directly with either organisation.
“Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport. We want to make it clear that he does not speak for the game with his recent social media posts.
“Israel has failed to understand that the expectation of him as a Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs employee is that he cannot share material on social media that condemns, vilifies or discriminates against people on the basis of their sexuality.
Folau’s comments come just over a year after he uploaded another homophobic post to Instagram, in which he said gay people will go to Hell, ‘unless they repent of their sins and turn to God’.
Folau was warned by Rugby Australia for those previous comments but not punished.
Folau, a native of Minto, New South Wales, began his career 12 years ago in rugby league, playing for Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos, before switching sports to Aussie rules football for a year.
In 2012, Folau switched to rugby union and he penned a deal with the Waratahs for the 2013 Super Rugby season.
He has been with the New South Wales side ever since.
“Rugby is a sport that continuously works to unite people. We want everyone to feel safe and welcome in our game and no vilification based on race, gender, religion or sexuality is acceptable and no language that isolates, divides or insults people based on any of those factors can be tolerated.”
The centre recently became Super Rugby’s all-time record try scorer and has been capped 73 times by Australia.